The Sigelei Mini, a 30 watt advanced personal vaporizer, joins a crowded marketplace. It's a bit late to the game too, with the iStick (and look-alikes) dominating. The category has seen introductions by Heatvape, Pioneer4You, Cloupor and many others.
The Sigelei Mini is well positioned, though, to take a leadership position in this burgeoning category. The price point is excellent, and the packaging is done just right. The box includes the warranty card, instruction booklet, the unit itself packaged in its own silicone case (yes, the case is included), and a micro USB cable is tucked into the battery cavity. As minimalistic as it gets.
It also boasts Sigelei's legendary engineer robustness as part of the package. Sigelei is known to have solid devices that are well built, incredibly accurate, safe for vapers, and rock solid. In my tests of the Sigelei Mini, that holds true for this device as well.
This is not the smallest device in the mini replaceable battery category – Cloupor holds that honor. But it is close. It is nearly the same width and depth. The height of the device, though, is 29.5 mm higher than the Cloupor. Not an issue really ... it's still mini, it's still stealthy.
As you can see at the right, the Sigelei Mini (middle, with the Subtank on top) is taller than the Cloupor Mini, and shorter than the IPV Mini 2 (IPV Mini and IPV Mini 2 are identical height). All three devices have nearly identical width and depth, none has any real advantage in that regard.
The Sigelei Mini follows a recent "tradition" Sigelei seems to have started, that is including a silicone case with their advanced personal vaporizers. This is really a welcome move. The silicone case keeps the finish of the device in pristine condition, hides hand oils, protects the hand against the extremes of heat and cold. The cases included by Sigelei are also perfectly fitted and slide on and off easily ...
The warranty on this device is 90 days.
The Sigelei Mini 30 watt device has your typical 5 on/off clicks of the fire button. Five clicks in rapid succession toggles the system on/off. Before I get into button functionality, Sigelei has used the caret up symbol (^) instead of a + sign, and a caret down symbol instead of a - sign. In describing what the buttons do, I'll still use the + and - symbols because my keyboard doesn't have a caret down symbol. With the atomizer off the device, press and hold the Fire Button and + will put the device in Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) mode, press and hold the Fire Button and the - button will put the device in Direct Current (DC-DC) mode.
The manual is quite sketchy on this feature, so let me do my best to explain. In Direct Current mode, the device by-passes the chipset and provides whatever wattage to the coil that your battery will support. It does not "buck convert" the power to limit the wattage to your chosen setting. In essence, it functions like a mechanical mod and the wattage is controlled by physics (Ohm's Law). The higher your battery charge, the more wattage you get (regardless of the setting you selected on the Sigelei Mini).
The manual does not explain PWM mode, it doesn't even tell you what that is. Pulse Width Modulation is a strategy to extend battery life, by "pulsing" the available power to the coil. The frequency of pulses is based on the "width" of the pulse on and off. When you set your Sigelei Mini to this mode, your battery will last longer – quite a bit longer. If you will recall, pulse width modulation was not that well done on the iStick and created quite a harsh vape. It's well done on the Sigelei Mini, though. I have not measured the pulse width, but I have vaped and tested both PWM and DC-DC quite a bit. The DC-DC is a hard hit, like most mechanical devices, and the PWM tones that down and provides a smooth vape experience. At the very least, it's under YOUR control and YOU have the choice of which to use. Only in PWM mode does the Sigelei control the output wattage to the coil.
The rest of the button functionality is what we have come to be used to with these devices. The + button cycles through five memory wattage settings. To control the wattage, you first click the - button, and then adjust as needed. When you have the wattage you desire (it increments in 0.1 watts) you can press the Fire button to save it to the memory location you were just at. If you don't want to save it, wait for the screen to blank out, and you will be vaping at your selected wattage, but the memory location will still have the original selection. In effect, that really gives you six possible "memory" settings.
The top of the Sigelei Mini has a chrome finish with ample air flow channels. Those are useful if you are using clearomizers that have air flow through the 510 connector. The 510 pin on the Sigelei Mini is copper and floating (it's spring loaded). The bottom of the Sigelei Mini is also chromed and has a micro USB connector for charging.
If you look closely at the picture on the left, you'll see that the battery cover on this device is quite innovative. It's located on the side and has a total of four rare earth magnets to hold it in place. It also features three fair size holes near the bottom of the device for air venting.
The silicone case for the Sigelei Mini Is superb ... it slides on and off quite easily, even over the buttons. And, the accuracy is exceptionally good. The holes for the USB port, the air vents, and the buttons are perfectly aligned. Even the cut of the top is perfectly aligned with the chrome edge of the top.
I used the Sigelei Mini with the silicone case on. And, I put the KangerTech Subtank on it. The Subtank, at 25 mm, is just a hair larger in diameter than the depth of the Sigelei Mini. It's impossible to tell, though, it looks like it was designed to be on the Sigelei Mini. It did take a bit of getting used to the Sigelei Mini. The silicone case is so precise a fit that I had to "search" for the buttons initially. The silicone case is flush with the buttons and so precise a fit that it was hard to tell where the buttons are. I finally figured a way to "cheat" a bit ... instead of the buttons, find the edge of the screen, the fire button is just above that. Hey, it works.
I get a "warm and fuzzy" feeling with the Sigelei Mini. It's a nice feeling in the hand, the aluminum alloy makes this a relatively light device, the size makes it stealthy enough, and it is a nice and smooth vape. Any tank up to 25 mm looks good. With your choice of PWM or DC-DC, you get to choose what's right for you. There are two colors available: black and silver. From what I understand, there is only one choice if silicone cases: black.
So, what's the verdict? Is it worth it? This is one flexible and powerful advanced personal vaporizer. In the segment for mini devices that have replaceable batteries, it has the most features and flexibility available. In the overall mini category, you have to be aware of the limitations in color choices. Given the choice between devices with fixed batteries (like the iStick) and replaceable battery devices (like the Sigelei Mini), I always prefer and recommend the replaceable battery devices. In that, the Sigelei Mini 30 watt is a clear winner. There are quite a few devices now in this segment – the Sigelei Mini is the best built, best engineered ... and to those that measure the quality on "no rattles" ... the Sigelei Mini has no rattles that I can detect or hear.